Goldenrod Is Not To Blame For Hayfever
Clumps of goldenrod are brightening roadsides and some of us have selected cultivars like ‘Fireworks’ in our gardens. It might surprise you to hear it’s our state wildflower since many people blame it for allergies. But I assure you garden club members do not want runny noses, so you can bet they did their home work before encouraging the General Assembly to proclaim goldenrod as our state wildflower. Plants that put energy into making colorful showy flowers do so to attract insect pollinators which carry relatively heavy pollen from male to female flower parts.
Goldenrod happens to bloom when some of us have start having hay fever – the real culprit this time of year is ragweed whose inconspicuous male flowers produce masses of pollen which the wind moves to the female flowers, both of which occur on the same plant.